DIFFERENCESTerms And Technology

Difference between primary memory and secondary memory (with table)

We explain the difference between primary and secondary memory with table. In computers, memory is considered one of the most essential parts. It is the device that is used to store information on the computer for immediate or later use. It can also be thought of as the brain of the computer.

Computer memory is basically of two types, primary memory and secondary memory. Memory stores data within itself for retrieval. Both primary and secondary memory have very different processes by which they store data. The central processing unit then processes the data.

What is primary memory?

Primary memory is the type of memory that can be accessed directly from the central processing unit. It includes various types of memory such as RAM (random access memory), ROM (read-only memory), and cache memory.

Main memory is erased when the computer is turned off and data is not saved. The data transferred between the CPU and RAM is one hundred times faster than the data transfer speed between the CPU and the hard disk.

Primary memory can also be called primary storage. Primary memory is expensive and technology is constantly being used to develop and optimize it. While RAM loses its memory, ROM can store program data permanently.

What is secondary memory?

Secondary memory refers to storage devices such as hard drives and pen drives. The storage device can be removable or non-removable. Data stored within secondary memory devices is permanently stored.

The storage capacity of secondary memory is also much greater than that of primary memory. Operating systems, applications, and other files can be stored within secondary memory devices. It can also be called external memory, as it is not always part of the device.

Secondary memory devices are also slower and much cheaper than primary memory devices. The data stored within the secondary storage device is organized in an accessible way and can show what time, where and what type of file was stored.

The difference is that primary memory is considered as the main memory of the computer that can be accessed by the CPU. While secondary memory is an external storage device that can store data permanently.

Primary memory and secondary memory are parts of the main memory unit in a computer that are used to store and process data.

Comparison table

Comparison parameters Primary memorye Secondary memory
Storage validity It is the main memory and the data is temporarily stored. It is the external memory and the data is stored permanently.
Access The CPU can directly access the data. The CPU cannot directly access the data.
Volatility This type of memory is volatile and data is lost in the event of a power failure. This type of memory is non-volatile and data is stored even in the event of a power failure.
Storage device The data is stored inside very expensive semiconductor chips. The data is stored on external hardware devices like hard disk, floppy disk, etc.
Division It can be divided into cache memory and random access memory (RAM). They do not have such divisions and are permanent storage devices like CD, DVD, etc.
Velocity It is faster than secondary memory. It is relatively slower.
Stored data Saves the data that the computer is currently using. You can save various types of data in various formats and huge sizes.

Main differences

  1. Primary memory is the main memory of the computer and stores data temporarily. Secondary memory is external memory that can be permanently saved.
  2. The CPU can directly access data stored in primary memory, which is not the case in secondary memory.
  3. Primary memory is lost in the event of a power failure while secondary memory remains saved, therefore primary memory is volatile and secondary memory is non-volatile.
  4. Primarye memory is stored on semiconductor chips, while secondary memory is stored on external hardware devices.
  5. Primarye memory is classified into cache and random access memory, while secondary memory has no such categories.
  6. Primarye memory is faster than secondary memory.
  7. Primary memory uses the data that the computer is currently using, while secondary memory can store data in various formats that can be accessed at any time.

Final Thought

The computer is a wonderful invention that has made our lives easier than ever. To carry out its tasks, it needs a certain memory like our brain. Memory can be thought of as the brain of a computer. The data stored within the device helps process more information and is known as memory.

Computer memory is of two types: primary memory and secondary memory. Primary memory is used to process data and perform basic functions. Secondary memory is the auxiliary memory that is used as an external storage device.

Both types of memory have several differences between them that can be used to differentiate them from each other. Although they are different, they are parts of a whole. They have to work together to keep the computer running smoothly.

Primary memory itself cannot save more than a few gigabytes of data, but secondary memory completes that deficiency by providing space of up to one terabyte. While secondary memory lags behind in data processing, primary memory is much faster and can be accessed very easily.

Both primary and secondary memory complement each other and hide the deficiencies of each. This is essential for the effortless operation of a computer.

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